Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Global Teacher Prize 2017

Three teachers from Canada have been included in the top 50 shortlist for the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2017. The prize was set up to recognize an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession as well as to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society. Now in its third year, the US$1 million Global Teacher Prize is the largest of its kind. The prize hopes to bring to life the exceptional work of millions of teachers all over the world. The top 50 have been shortlisted from over 20,000 nominations and applications from 179 countries from around the world. The winner will be announced at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai on March 19, 2017. 

Yvan Girouard, a Science and Technology teacher at L’École Secondaire Les Etchemins school in Lévis, QC, turned his classroom into a science museum using his personal science collection, including many rare and important items from scientific history. It has energized his pupils to win science competitions and go on to further study in science. In 2016, Yvan received the Canadian Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

Maggie MacDonnell has been a teacher at Ikusik School, which is part of Quebec's Kativik School Board in the Arctic, for six years. Maggie created life-skills programs in the community, and since then she has seen a 500% increase in school registration. In June 2016 she was presented with a personal award by the Governor General of Canada.

Armand Doucet from Riverview High School in Riverview, NB created a "Harry Potter Week" campaign in his school, turning the whole school into Hogwarts (each class mirroring a Hogwarts class). His approach to integrating skills-based teaching and academic work has won him the Prime Minister of Canada Teaching Excellence Award and the Meritorious Service Medal of the Governor General of Canada. 

Friday, 9 December 2016

ExploraVision STEM Competition

ExploraVision is a science competition that invites teachers to sponsor and lead groups of 2 to 4 students as they simulate real research and development. Students choose a current technology, research it, envision what it might look like in 20 years, and describe the development steps, pros and cons, and obstacles. Entries to the ExploraVision competition are welcomed until February 6, 2017.  exploravision.org

Friday, 2 December 2016

Superpower Your School Contest

Ten environmentally conscious schools across the country will each earn $25,000 worth of new technology from Staples Canada as part of the retailer’s Superpower your School Contest. Schools are invited to enter the contest at Staples.ca/PowerEco and share their eco initiatives for a chance to win. The contest, previously known as the Staples Canada Recycle for Education Computer Lab Contest, is now in its seventh year and has awarded 70 environmentally conscious schools the latest technology to empower students to learn and nurture their passion for the environment. To help schools prepare their entries, Staples has assembled a series of resources, including excerpts from the 2016 winning school entries; step-by-step entry guide; and set of frequently asked questions. The contest is held in collaboration with Earth Day Canada, a national charity that works directly with thousands of schools to provide environmental resources and support. The contest runs until January 31, 2017.  staples.ca/powereco

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

French Summer Institutes at UBC

July 10 – 27, French Summer Institutes at UBC. All BC certified teachers and some French Immersion or Dual-track school staff may qualify for a bursary covering tuition and some travel expenses. For more information and to apply for a bursary, visit https://cstudies.ubc.ca/summer-french, email language.programs@ubc.ca or call toll-free 1-866-528-7485.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Write to Give

Imagine the kids in your class becoming published authors while helping others in need. The Write To Give program brings students from Kindergarten through Grade Six together to write a story. Each story involves five classes who contribute to a different part of the story. The finished story is published as an illustrated book. The book is then sold with the proceeds going to the Canadian charity World Teacher Aid which helps build schools in rural parts of Kenya. The program is designed to be easy for all teachers, with lesson plans, worksheets and class materials provided. Registration is now open. to sign up your class, write a book and help others in need, visit:  www.WriteToGive2017.com. PLUS: If you’re in Southern Ontario, we encourage you to sign up to become a Write To Give Ambassador and you could win a free trip to Kenya.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016


The Canadian Women’s Foundation and advertising agency Havas have joined forces to help strengthen girls’ confidence through #GirlPowered, a national campaign that empowers girls to challenge limiting stereotypes and sexist messages in advertising by using their voices. This campaign was created on the premise that every day girls are faced with advertising telling them how to think, dress and act. These constant reminders can affect their mental health – girls aged 9 to 13 experience a sharp decline in confidence and higher rates of depression than younger girls. The campaign features a powerful video of several girls creating a #GirlPowered message and having it displayed to their surprise in real-time on a jumbo screen in Yonge-Dundas Square. To ensure that other girls have the same experience, young women across Canada can go to girlpowered.ca and create their own positive #GirlPowered message and share it on social media. Seeing these words amplified to the world demonstrates that each girl’s voice matters.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Kids Write 4 Kids Call for Entries

Is your child sharing stories on Instagram, Musical.ly or Snap Chat? Do they write outlandish stories for classroom assignments that bring tears to your eyes? Kids Write 4 Kids is seeking children in grades 4 – 8, who have an interest in sharing tales of adventures, travel or something that makes them giggle. Kids Write 4 Kids is an annual writing challenge that provides winner(s) with the opportunity to be a published author before high school. In addition to author fame, the annual proceeds from book sales are donated to that year's winners' schools. School(s) are also provided with the option of selling their author’s book for fundraising. Winner(s) will have an opportunity to take part in the following year’s judging panel. As of 2016, Kids Write 4 Kids has published ten winning titles from youth authors across Canada. These books are available in the Apple iBookstore, Amazon Kindle and Kobo. Find out more about the contest and published titles at www.ripplepublishing.ca or email info@ripplepublishing.ca.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

2016 Gunter History Awards

The Canadian War Museum and the Friends of the Canadian War Museum have awarded the Colonel Douglas H. Gunter History Award to five high school seniors in Canada for their outstanding works of art and scholarship on the theme of ordinary people in extraordinary times. Judged by a multidisciplinary committee, the annual awards are open to all graduating high school seniors and carry a $1000 cash prize for each of the winners. This year’s entries explored how the experience of war has changed someone’s life. The 2016 laureates are:
  •   Connor B. Hawes of Grand Forks Secondary School in Grand Forks, BC for his essay “Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times”;
  •    Alexa Ishikawa of Centennial Secondary School in Coquitlam, BC for her video Paper Cranes”;
  •   Chantelle Masterson of Fredericton High School in Fredericton, NB for her artwork entitled “Great Uncle Merle”;
  •   Eric Shepphard of Etobicoke School of the Arts in Oakville, ON for his essay “Every Soldier has a Story”;
  •   Gaurav Varshneya of Magee Secondary School in Vancouver, BC for his video  “Operation: White Dove.”
The winning entries are posted at: warmuseum.ca/education/programs/the-colonel-douglas-h-gunter-award. The call for submissions for the 2017 Colonel Douglas H. Gunter History Awards will begin in September 2016. 

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

CST Inspired Minds Learning Project

The CST Inspired Minds Learning Project has announced its 2016 winners. The CST Learning Project is a competition hosted by the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation as part of the CST Inspired Minds project, which also includes Careers 2030, a digital job fair for the future. The annual competition awards a total of up to $250,000 in prizes to not-for-profit organizations with ideas that advance children's learning in communities across Canada. The winners represent the top six innovative learning ideas in Canada chosen from more than 270 submissions from communities and organizations across the country.

The $100,000 grand prize winning project, "Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants!" sends students on adventures to explore ocean floors or mountain ranges without leaving their desks through the use of technology. It also gives back to the scientists and explorers to continue their research. Other innovative ideas include a group of Ontario teens who are creating a new way to teach children with vision loss how to read. Another empowers youth in British Columbia with hands-on experience and knowledge of local agriculture. To read about this year’s winners and for more information, go to: learningproject.cst.org

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Indigo Love of Reading Foundation Grants

The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation offers grants to deserving school libraries as a means to break the cycle of dwindling bookshelves caused by inadequate funding. As a result of this year's literacy grants, twenty-five high-needs elementary schools across Canada will benefit from the Foundation's $1.5 million annual grant commitment. To see which schools received grants in 2016 and to download an application for the 2017 grants, visit: loveofreading.org.

Sexual and Gender Minorities Resource

The Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) has released a new resource guide entitled Sexual and Gender Minorities in Canadian Education and Society 1969-2013 – A National Handbook for K-12 Educators. This unique resource, which results from years of research by Drs. André P. Grace and Kristopher Wells, gives a detailed picture of where things stand for SGMs and lists many helpful resources for educators. The Handbook allows for a better understanding of the challenges facing SGMs and Canadian society in general, while promoting equity and diversity in education. The handbook is now available from CTF’s e-catalogue: http://publications.ctf-fce.ca/en/.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Canadian Museum of History Explores Impact of Gold Rushes in BC

The Canadian Museum of History presents a new exhibition examining the race for riches on Canada’s West Coast. Gold Rush! – El Dorado in British Columbia illustrates how the legend of El Dorado, a source of endless gold said to be hidden in the New World, has driven exploration, conquest and colonization for 500 years. The British Columbia gold rush that began in 1858 stood out, however, because First Nations as well as immigrants from China and other countries played such key roles in how the story unfolded. Thousands of people of diverse social and ethnic origins, chasing dreams of wealth and a better life, helped shape the Canada we know today.

Gold Rush! – El Dorado in British Columbia showcases 280 artifacts, including the spectacular, 1,642 gram Turnagain Nugget, the largest existing gold nugget from British Columbia. An exquisite gold box by Haida artist Bill Reid demonstrates the influence of gold on culture through the ages. A real stagecoach restored by the Historic O’Keefe Ranch in Vernon, BC evokes an era of adventure and exploration. Authentic miners’ tools and personal belongings from the gold rush, modern objects such as a $1 million gold Maple Leaf coin from the Royal Canadian Mint and a set of Olympic and Paralympic medals from the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games show the timeless allure of the glittering metal.

Gold Rush! – El Dorado in British Columbia is at the Canadian Museum of History until January 15, 2017. This exhibition is organized by the Royal BC Museum, in collaboration with the Canadian Museum of History.  historymuseum.ca

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Accessibility and Inclusive Education

Educators today are faced with the challenge of integrating technology into the classroom and teaching students of all learning styles and abilities, including those with accessibility needs. By providing accessible technology in the classroom, students with a wide-range of learning styles are given equal education opportunities. Find out how seven Canadian teachers have successfully incorporated personalized learning in the classroom at: http://aka.ms/7educators. Microsoft is dedicated to building accessibility into its products and to providing accessibility resources for educators, fostering learning for all. To encourage tech familiarity and adoption, Microsoft has launched a series of free Accessibility Workshops for educators across the country. For more details visit: www.microsoft.ca/accessibilityworkshop. A free educators resource is also available: http://www.microsoft.ca/freeguide.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

"The Stone Age" Interactive Resource

Mathew Charlton is an archaeologist in the UK who has been working with film makers, designers, teachers and historians to produce a six week cross-curricular interactive resource that covers the Stone Age from the Palaeolithic period through to the Iron Age. The six week program covers What is Prehistory? The Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age, with cross-curricular lesson plans and activities. Each week has key facts which outline the important changes for each period. The resource features cartoons, videos and photographs so that the information is as visual as possible. As a taster, there is a free week on the Palaeolithic, available to download at: www.teachingtopics.co.uk. While working closely with teachers during the development phase, Charlton found that one of the reoccurring themes was there isn’t always time for them to devote to compiling accurate information to cover this topic; his aim is to address this concern by making the resource not only helpful for teachers, but easy to use and fun for students. Download the free module and provide feedback or send suggestions for future topics to Mathew:  mail@teachingtopics.co.uk

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Digital Storytelling Project - Social Change

A new digital storytelling project – sponsored by the Government of Canada – provides a compelling education in social change. The History of Social Change (www.historyofsocialchange.ca), produced by SEE Change Magazine, documents ten social movements in Canada through the eyes, ears and words of their key players. From Suffrage to Labour and Marriage Equality and from the Environment to Aboriginal Self-Governance and Human Rights, each movement is explored through digital stories, one-on-one interviews and podcasts with activists, politicians and others who played seminal roles in effecting change. Folks like Prime Minister Paul Martin, Sid Ryan, Clayton Ruby, Greenpeace co-founder Bill Darnell, Roy Romanow, the Michaels, Olivia Chow, Aboriginal activist Tanya Kappo and environmentalist Tzeporah Berman. 
 SEE Change also published an e-book offering more in-depth coverage of those ten movements, with links to the digital stories embedded within each respective chapter. The e-book is currently being sold on the website, with a portion of proceeds going towards helping Syrian refugees to Canada. To learn more visit: www.historyofsocialchange.ca. To find out how you can use the website or e-books in your classroom, please contact: Elisa Birnbaum, publisher of SEE Change & producer of the History of Social Change: elisa@seechangemagazine.com

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Speak Truth to Power Resource

Speak Truth to Power Canada is a website about Canadian human rights defenders and their achievements. Jointly developed by the Canadian Teachers Federation, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the Assembly of First NationsInuit Tapiriit Kanatami and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, the website offers lesson plans and classroom activities that align with provincial and territorial curricula. Access the website here.

Small Schools Make A Difference

Congratulations to Superior-Greenstone District School Board on the launch of the first video in a series that celebrates the sense of belonging that the school board has helped to create at its schools. View the video here.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Awards for Canadian Teachers

A number of national and provincial/territorial awards are given to Canadian teachers each year to recognize their outstanding dedication or innovative contributions to the field of education. For more information see the "Other Teaching Awards" link on the Prime Minister's Awards website.

Canadian School Calendar

The Canadian Education Association prepares a school calendar each year, which is free online, download here. The School Calendar provides all opening and closing dates for primary and secondary schools in every Canadian province and territory.